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Japan`s new policy council chief takes right-wing stance

Japan`s new policy council chief takes right-wing stance

Posted September. 05, 2014 05:51,   


Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party Tomomi Inada has poured cold water over Korea-Japan relations by claiming that the Kono Statement should be revised. She said this immediately after taking office as chair of the Policy Research Council. The Kono Statement was made in 1993 by then-Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono, and acknowledges the involvement of the Japanese military in the recruitment of the system of sexual slavery. It is one of the pillars of Korea-Japan diplomatic relations.

Inada, who has transferred from minister in charge of administrative reform on Wednesday appeared on the private broadcaster BS Fuji and attacked the Kono statement. She deplored the situation, which is detracting from Japan’s honor in the global community due to what she claimed were falsehoods. The chair of the Policy Research Council is one of the three leaders of the Liberal Democratic Party and conducts prior deliberation of government bills, reflects the opinions of the various sectors, and exerts influence on the Cabinet’s policymaking. Her predecessor Takaichi Sanae, 53, had also proposed to the government that a new statement should replace the Kono Statement.

Inada, a Waseda University-educated former lawyer, is a female politician who has broadened her base as a right-wing brand along with Takaichi. In 2013, when Osaka Mayor Toru Hashitomo’s comment that the sex slaves were necessary became problematic, she defended him, saying although the comfort women issue is sad, she thought it was true that it was legal during the Pacific War. She also joined 45 ruling and opposition party lawmakers in the support of full-page advertisement in the Washington Post prior to the comfort women resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives claiming that there was no evidence that the Japanese military intervened in forcibly conscripting sex slaves.

Her stance on history leans towards the ultra-right wing. She chaired in 2006 the group of Tradition and Creation comprising of new lawmakers in her party and said the International Military Tribunal for the Far East is in violation of international law. She also claimed that the Yasukuni Shrine is not a place to vow no war but to swear that they would follow in the war dead’s footsteps if something should happen to their mother land. After joining the Cabinet in December 2012, she has paid respects at the Yasukuni Shrine without missing. In 2011, she stirred controversy by holding a meeting with a Neo Nazi leader who visited the Japanese parliament and posed for a photograph with him.

She is also a hard-liner towards Korea as well. In August 2011, she was denied entry into Korea at Gimpo Airport on her way to Ulleung-do Island claiming that the Dokdo Islets were Japanese territory along with fellow lawmakers including Yoshitaka Shindo.

Wako University professor Mieko Takenobu said to the Tokyo Shimbun on the revision of Shinzo Abe’s reshuffle of his Cabinet that although the appointment of the female minister was to appease women’s anxiety on conservative policies owing to emphasis on women, a conservative women was selected.